Painting with soft pastels…

I got this idea from Erin Stead (Caldecott Award winning illustrator for A Sick Day for Amos McGee), and I believe she used this technique to create the illustrations for the book Bear Has a Story to Tell.

1.  Start with a small glass or plastic container (glass works best because plastic tends to stain).  I get ALL mine from secondhand stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, and rummage sales or flea markets-I seriously find them every time!  Drop whatever color, or colors, of pastel you like into the container.  I love making my own colors, and its very easy to do that with soft pastel.

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2.  Add small amounts of warm water (you can always add more but its hard to take away)…

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3.  …until it starts to dissolve and look like this.

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4.  When you can see no sediment left on the bottom of the container, then its ready to use!

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You can use this even after it dries out just by adding water.  I love the richness in color and the texture I get by painting with soft pastels, and its a super fun and easy way to try something new with an old favorite!  Try it out and let me know how it goes! 😀

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2 thoughts on “Painting with soft pastels…

  1. Reblogged this on Laurie J. Edwards ~ Author, Artist, Dreamer… and commented:
    I was lucky enough to attend a talk by Erin Stead at the National Book Festival, and I was intrigued when she mentioned painting with pastels dissolved in water. At the time she was working on her second book, Bear Has a Story to Tell, written by her husband, Philip Stead. See some of the illustrations from that book here: http://us.macmillan.com/bearhasastorytotell/ErinStead.

    Here are some illustrated instructions for this technique. Enjoy!

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